she is growing so fast. changing every day. i look at her and wonder where the years have gone. my brain knows it's been eight years since she was placed in my arms and changed my name forever. "Mom." But she is so tall now. Long and gangly, clumsy and sensitive. So incredibly beautiful. I know it's the same girl. I recognize her by the tiny patches of hair below her ears. They were there when she was placed in my arms 8 years ago. But other than those little patches of hair and the big brown eyes, I'm not sure I'd recognize her if she didn't live in my house. I am convinced we've hit a time warp - it's the only logical explanation for how this is my baby girl.
These images startle me every time I look at them. It actually hurts to study them. My heart hurts. I don't see that baby anymore. Or the talkative toddler running around my parent's back yard. Or the knobby-kneed kindergartner wearing the bigger-than-she-is book bag on the first day of school. Not even the unsure-of-herself first grader, coloring quietly in the corner by herself. In these images I see who she is going to be. I see tween years - boys, and phone calls with friends, and makeup. In these eyes I see defiance, and a sense of self. I see knowledge, experience, life. I see an inquisitive, developing individual. That is startling to me, because she has been my little girl for so long. I wasn't prepared to see these things. It's exhilarating to get a glimpse into who she will become. And a little terrifying.
These shots will always be emotional for me. I will never forget what I saw for the first time in these photos. I saw the "her" that she will be someday. For the very first time, I saw her.